Home > Buddhism > Buddhism’s Sunyata Explained and Refuted

Buddhism’s Sunyata Explained and Refuted

Someone emailed me more than hour or more ago what I thought of the Buddhist concept of Sunyata. So I looked it up, and found a rant about it. Here is part of it, with my comments and questions with facts, not merely opinions, throughout.

“1. Sunyata (Emptiness) is the profound meaning of the Mahayana Teaching.”

What does it matter if it is “profound” or not? What matters is if it is true and beneficial.

“Two thousand five hundred years ago, the Buddha was able to realise “emptiness” (s. sunyata).”

What is the evidence for this?

“By doing so he freed himself from unsatisfactoriness (s. dukkha).”

What is the evidence for this? And what is meant by unsatisfactoriness? Does that mean he was a malcontented person, and unthankful person? That he was thankless towards God no matter how much God blessed him?

“From the standpoint of enlightenment, sunyata is the reality of all worldly existences (s. dharma).”

What does that mean? It’s nonsense.

“It is the realisation of Bodhi — Prajna.”

Nonsense talk.

“From the standpoint of liberation, sunyata is the skil[l]ful”

What makes it skillful, and what does it matter if it’s skillful or not? So far what I’ve read sounds like a rant from a conartist. Clearly this person is making up vain nonsense, and reapting old vain nonsense.

“means that disentangle oneself from defilement and unsatisfactoriness.”

What does that mean? It’s nonsense. And how if there is no God (and therefore no universal good or evil) can “one” be “defiled”?

“The realisation of sunyata leads one to no attachment and clinging.”

Where is the evidence for that? And what is wrong attachment and clinging? Why not just not have babies or kill them if it’s best that no one have any desires? Why not just nuke the planet till everything is dead? Wouldn’t that “free” them?

“It is the skil[l]ful means towards enlightenment and also the fruit of enlightenment.”

Again, why does skill matter? What is the evidence that it is the fruit of e.?

“There are two ways for us to understand this concept of sunyata in the Mahayana context. One way is to try to understand the explanation about its true nature. The other way is the realisation through practice. What we are going to discuss now is about its true nature.”

Discuss means to talk back and forth; this person is ranting vainly, thinking that using eloquent-sounding words makes him wise and right.

“Mahayana teachings have always considered that the understanding of sunyata is an attainment which is extremely difficult and extraordinarily profound.”

What does that matter? It’s vain ranting, useless talk.

“For example, in the Prajna Sutra it says “That which is profound, has sunyata and non-attachment as its significance.”

The Bible is profound, but it teaches to desire what is good and not to go past clinging to good, but to be good and that goodness itself in the form of God will be in you forever if you are forgiven for doing what is wrong. Also, who defines what is “profound” and what does it matter if a thing is or not? And why does only “non-attachment” make a profound thing significant? What is the evidence? Is this person God to say what makes anything significant or not which is profound, let alone the Bible, is only significant because of a single thing? How stupid. Buddha said not to simply believe something because it was believed by everyone else, which is profound most people would agree in my opinion, but does “non-attachment” make that advice significant? No, what makes it significant is that it’s logical and that many or most people don’t realize that it’s illogical to believe something merely because many or most people do, and that Buddha realized this seemingly without having to be directly told by God, or that he may have come up with that on his own from the little he seemed to know (unless he was reading many works and sending out people to bring him back information about philosophies of other people).

“No form nor deeds, no rising nor falling, are its implications.”

Nonsense talk. If deeds cease then Buddha stopped helping anyone and never will.

“Again in the Dvadasanikaya Sastra”

What makes this “again”?

“(composed by Nagarjuna, translated to Chinese by Kumarajiva A.D. 408) it says: “The greatest wisdom is the so-called sunyata.””

Why is it the greatest wisdom?

“This sunyata, no creation,”

“No creation” means what? What stopped creating anything?

“calmness and extinction (s. nirvana)”

Calm but not “still”? Why only calm? What goes extinct?

“is of a profound significance in the Mahayana teachings.”

And? The point of mentioning this, is?

“Why do we see it as the most profound teaching?”


“This is because there is no worldly knowledge, be it general studies, science or philosophy, that can lead to the attainment of the state of sunyata.”

That is a contradiction, because this person and other’s who believe his nonsenses say that sunyata is the ultimate wisdom. wisdom includes learned knowledge. And it’s also an act: to stop desiring anything, and Buddhists claim that Buddhism is one of the baths to enlightenment, and if one of its fruits is sunyata, then by studying Buddhism and living it, you can cease to desire anything.

“The only path to its realisation is via the supreme wisdom of an impassionate and discriminating mind.”

…which would have to be learned since no one is born who one day just decides to have such a mindset. Man is driven by his desires, which is a point that is even central to Buddhism.

“It is beyond the common worldly understanding.”

And? The point of saying that is? It’s more vain talk to make this person look “profound” and “wise” and to get people to look up to him and give him his desires. This person obviously, to those who aren’t blind, desires to be worshiped, that is why he made a vain speech like this.

“2. The Significance of Sunyata and Cessation”

Wasn’t it already pointed out?!, that you no longer desire anything and have the ultimate wisdom? But it does seem insignificant if no one can tell you why it’s useful.

“The Buddha always used the terms void, no rising and falling, calmness and extinction to explain the profound meaning of sunyata and cessation.”

So what?

“The teachings of the Buddha that were described in words are generally common to worldly understandings.”

Why so much focus on Buddha? Obviously Buddhism is a “cult of personality”, a cult that worships Buddha, a person who ceased to be wise by trying to stop desiring to do good and to negate good. Also, what is the evidence that is was common to “worldly understanding”, and what does “wordly understandings” mean? It appears to be a nonsensical phrase to me. It sounds pretentious. A plain speech version would be, “understood by most people of the world.”

“If one interprets”

Saying, “one” over and over is vain and annoying. Why not say, “we” or “you”?

“the teachings superficially from the words and languages used,”

What? Does this person know how to teach plainly and not pretentiously like this? It’s nonsense.

“one will only gain worldly knowledge and not the deeper implication of the teachings.”

The evidence for this is? And “deeper implication of the teachings” would also be knowledge. This person is ranting, which means talking without care if he is making sense or not, and because of that, not making sense.

“The teachings of the Buddha have their supra-mundane”

What does supra-mundane mean?

“contexts that are beyond the worldly knowledge.”

What is the evidence for that? And so what?

“For example, sunyata and the state of nirvana where there is no rising nor falling, are interpreted by most people as a state of non-existence and gloom.”

You said earlier that it was non-existence. And of course you would FEEL depressed eventually from trying to repress natural desires, like the desire to taste, touch, feel, see and hear what is pleasing to the mind, heart and body.

“They fail to realise that quite the opposite,”

Not according to you who said that earlier it was non-existence, so you are contradicting yourself.

“sunyata is of substantial and positive significance.”

You’re repeating yourself and throwing in “high” words which don’t show you to be right. It shows you are vain. In a way, it’s like harassment, because you’re wasting a person’s time, and the more you rant, the more weary of it.

“The sutras often use the word “great void” to explain the significance of sunyata.”

And a void is existence? And what makes “nothing” significant?

“In general, we understand the “great void” as something that contains absolutely nothing.”

Why did you say, “great void” rather than “the void”? How is this void, great? Also, if you didn’t say what void you are referring to, why would anyone think that it is great?

“However, from a Buddhist perspective, the nature of the “great void” implies something which does not obstruct other things,”

What do you mean by “it’s nature”? Does something other than “it’s nature” get in the way of things? And why if it does not obstruct desire and evil is it a good thing or “significant” or “the greatest wisdom”? And what is the evidence that this “great void” exists? And when is the usefulness of this void going to be pointed out? How much more ranting to I have to read?

“in which all matters perform their own functions.”

What does that mean? More vain ranting.

“Materials are form, which by their nature, imply obstruction.”

Obstruction of what? And why does it matter?

“The special characteristic of the “great void” is non-obstruction.”

You’re repeating yourself uselessly. I’m getting ready to stop reading this stupidity.

“The “great void” therefore, does not serve as an obstacle to them.”

You’re repeating. This is making me angry.

“Since the “great void” exhibits no obstructive tendencies, it serves as the foundation for matter to function.”

What is the evidence for this, and why did this idiot say, “tendencies”? I thought it DOESN’T BLOCK ANYTHING AT ALL? Obviously this person is using “big words” to make himself appear to be wise and right about whatever he’s ranting about.

“In other words, if there was no “great void” nor characteristic of non-obstruction, it would be impossible for the material world to exist and function.”

No, it wasn’t “in other words” because you didn’t say in another way before this that it was impossible. Besides that, what is the evidence for this?

“The “great void” is not separated from the material world.”

If there is no evidence for its existence then to say it exists is a lie and presumption, especially if it is undetectable since everything passes through it. It’s also a contradiction to say that matter can’t exist without it because this void doesn’t touch anything, and so can’t be a base for anything.

“The latter depends on the former.”

You’re repeating, and seemingly trying to come up with big words to sound wise, again.

“We can state that the profound significance of sunyata and the nature of sunyata in Buddhism[,] highlights the “great void’s” non-obstructive nature.”

This is big worded nonsense. Who is “we”? Why does it matter if you can state this? Why is it profound? Why is it and it’s “nature” significant in Buddhism? What is meant by “nature”? How does the significance of either “highlight” the void’s nature? Why doesn’t it highlight the void completely? Why does it matter if it highlight’s the void’s nature in Buddhism? RANTING! This is demonic, disgusting, ranting. A confusing Hell of words meant to fool people into thinking Buddhists are good and wise.

“Sunyata does not imply the “great void”. Instead, it is the foundation of all phenomena (form and mind).”

What is the evidence for this? So far I have read mere claims without evidence.

“It is the true nature of all phenomena,”

Where is the evidence?

“and it is the basic principle of all existence.”

Evidence? And what does this mean? This person isn’t explaining anything. If this were a math course the teacher would eventually be fired and ignored, or put into a mental institution.

“In other words, if the universe’s existence was not empty nor impermanent then all resulting phenomena could not have arisen due to the co-existence of various causes and there would be no rising nor falling.”

This is called “word salad”, mixing up a bunch of high and fancy sounding phrases and words in an attempt to sound wise, but not making sense. Simply put: this person is ranting. And in reply to him I also say: Because you said so.

“The nature of sunyata is of positive significance!”

Because you keep repeating so! Sickening. And what makes it “positive”? And what do you mean by “positive”? What matters is if something is good or evil, useful or useless, true or false, there or not.

“Calmness and extinction are the opposite of rising and falling.”

No they are not: Rising is the opposite of falling. Calm is the opposite of upset or great force. Existence is the opposite of extinction.

“They are another way to express that there is no rising and falling.”

So what?

“Rising and falling are the common characteristics of worldly existence.”

And rising and falling is a sin. No.

“All phenomena are always in the cycle of rising and falling.”

Why did this person say “phenomenon” instead of “things”? This person is still using big words to sound wise and right, showing a DESIRE to be worshiped. Also, what is his evidence that rising and falling is a cycle? Also, information doesn’t rise or fall, only those things that represent it can, like a book. Information is spiritual not material. And what does it matter if it’s a cycle or not? Also, things move sideways and spin and go around in a circle, why isn’t that mentioned and why isn’t that significant or as significant?

“However, most people concentrate on living (rising).”

Living is not “rising.” This person is an idiot, and I will not read anymore of his vain, pretentious, redundant, nonsensical, hysterical, lying and ranting, which by the way, goes on for a very long time. I’m not going to waste my life listening to such extremely sickening insanity and stupidity. No wonder Asia has to copy nearly all it’s technology and science from Christians. They’ve been deceived into believing this nonsense, waste their time thinking about it often, and for those that don’t, have to deal with tons of idiots that are immoral, psychopaths, sociopaths and narcissists from having believed this evil nonsense. It isn’t evil, bad, or negative to desire to obey God or to obey God. Buddhism is an obstacle in the way of everything. Buddhism is a void in morality and wisdom. Buddhism causes voids. God is a creator who turned the void, a chaotic-like mass of something unknown (not “nothing”), into this beautiful highly organized universe, which became cursed with suffering and death. God is perfectly good and perfectly truthful.

Related Post:

Buddhism Refuted: Buddha’s Paradox Exposed

Contradictions In Buddhism (Note: the author of this PDF tries to rationalize clear contradictions, but doesn’t realize it seems that he is missing the bigger picture: nothing he is trying to justify has any value for learning the truth and improving your life. (In fact he stated what is the root of all contradictions in his attempt to justify Buddhism, “There are no ultimate truths.” aka “There are no absolute truths” which is known by a great many by now, especially true Christians I am sure, that that statement itself is a contradiction. Though the author speaks eloquently, he is also ranting in various parts of the PDF and trying to justify useless and pretentious rants. He repeatedly makes the logical fallacy of “mere claims” aka “statements said as a fact but which are not based on any evidence”, saying things are true, but without any explanation, and is it any surprise that he doesn’t being that he doesn’t believe there are any truths anyways? So for you who are Buddhists: your religion is futile, hurt, and a lie. You may not feel pain now, but you will be in pain if you don’t throw away this misleading religion and believe and heed the truth).

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  1. May 20, 2013 at 3:07 PM

    about sunyata is just not about emptyness , it is about the truth of reality of dukkha ( suffering ) – cause of dukkha – liberation of dukkha ( happines ) – about how to achieve Liberation of Dukkha .

    If you realy want to understand about what Buddha has proved , so you must willingly to open your mind and heart to understand his teach.

    one of Buddha said to Kalama people ” Don’t believe anything just because you listen to other said, not because that believes by tradition or your family for along time, even of Buddha said to you , but you must try to understand what it is and you must do it when you know it is good for you , and if you already profed it for along time when you do it. You can have faith that it is a reality of truth. because you realy know the reality . The truth is not about what you are thinking but what that hapening in the reality .

    even Buddha said about two reality of truth. one is the absolute truth and one is relative truth.

    and acording to Buddha , human have two wisdom to understanding all the truth .
    1. Lokiya Panna – is the wisdom of ordinary mind ( is about mind logical )
    2. Lokutara Panna – is the wisdom of higher mind ( is about spiritual logical )

    Buddha just teach about how some one open their eyes of Dhamma and understand about the truth by themselves. If you want proved don’t asking for anyone else but you must tryto understand what Buddha teach and do it , so you can proved it by your self.

    it is the same case when you have to experience by yourselves when god” touch” you . no one can proved it until they experience by them selves.

    For last comment :
    For what i ” see ” that mind has alot of diversion .
    When people heard about one word for example , ” orange ” people understand this word in many meaning . It is depend on their experience, their perception, and what their feeling about that word and what they experience in whole life before. Some thinking about fruit ( even the fruit have many varian ) some thinking about colour, some thinking about money ( selling comodity ) . This is what Buddha call attachment . Where you are attach, there is what you think .

    According to this condition , Can you tell me how many diversion when some one said about the “abstract word ” like ” GOD” ? Are you sure that all the people that heard about “GOD” word has same mind and same undertanding about one reality ? Do you think it is make sense when all the Christian pray to one GOD ? because in 10 Christiany has 10 definition of GOD in their mind .( not about word – is about mind )

    So This is why Buddha just teach about how we train our mind to be “mindfull” to “see” by ourselves reality of truth and proved it with a clearly mind and heart . ( I think you can use it to understanding more about what you call “GOD” if you realy concern about knowing the reality . don’t judge that god is real or not but important to know and experiencing THAT since you always looking for proved . this good when you always looking for real proved . Just proved it by yourselves )
    you can proved even the truth or the reality about what you call “GOD” why you have an experience something big when “GOD touching” you .

    “PROVED IT and you will KNOW IT ”
    when you loose your attachment to the “GOD” ( attachment of mind ) – you can see The “GOD ” ( reality of GOD ) that you worship.

    So you can choose which one of this GOD you put your faith.
    just in your ” MIND PERCEPTION ” or the ” REALITY” of god

    I’m always see that my christian friend always afraid to proved that their religion is realy truth or not because they are so afraid to tested their truth out of boundary of their DOGMA .
    sometimes we are afraid to loose what we think is right because our mind always think that beyond the truth there is lies a false . beyond the GOD there is lies EVIL .( according to BUDDHA this is the reality of MIND that alway have DUALISM )
    You will never know that beyond your MIND there is a REALITY .

    may you being happy of what you choose and lived .

    • May 20, 2013 at 11:31 PM

      All you’ve made are claims without evidence, you haven’t prooved anything.

      • Bk randy
        September 8, 2013 at 9:12 PM

        That is what is great about buddhism. You dont need to prove anything. Dont focous on the historical aspect because unlike the bible that is not a cornerstone. Focous on the teachings. You will never understand what he is trying to say till you cast aside your predjudice

      • September 9, 2013 at 9:37 AM

        “That is what is great about buddhism. You dont need to prove anything.” Said who? What is your evidence, your proof? Since when can I just make up a false version of reality and lie and claim “I’m allowed to lie because I gave myself permission to”? Buddha owns God? No, God owns everything, and said to believe in the truth, and to obey him, to not lie, to not steal, to not murder, to honor your parents, to remember that he made the universe and to remember the Sabbath, to not be jealous of what others have, to love everyone as you do yourself and to worship him alone, and not to use the name “Yahweh” to make yourself look good above him. You are not God, and there is only one.

  1. November 10, 2012 at 12:57 PM

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